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Wealth Professional | 04 Feb 2015, 10:33 AM Agree 0
Industry source suggests a statement from the CSA regarding trailer fees is coming soon.
  • Harley Lockhart CLU CHFC | 04 Feb 2015, 01:20 PM Agree 0
    Your article is correct that embedded commissions have been eliminated in several international jurisdictions. However the title of this article is highly presumptuous and serves no purpose other than sensationalism.
    The conditions that resulted in banning commissions in other jurisdictions simply do not exist in Canada. There has never been any hard evidence that consumers who deal with commission based advisors receive less robust or more biased advice than fee based professionals. A principal in Canadian Law is innocent until proven guilty. Where is the proof?
    One fact that seems to be overlooked in this irrational attack on commissions is that, while there are licensing requirements to receive commissions, there are NO REQUIREMENTS AT ALL to hold oneself out as a fee-based advisor. How does that improve consumer protection from unethical behavior?
    Currently, if you believe the press, Canadians have access to both fee and commission based advisors. Other than hype and self-servicing innuendo, what evidence supports removing this choice from consumers?
    Based on my experience and connections with practitioners in financial services across Canada, I believe the number of advisors supported entirely by fee income are significantly exaggerated. Before throwing the industry into disruption, it may be helpful to have some hard facts to identify what the real number is. In addition, what is the profile of those investors who CHOOSE to deal with fee-based advisors, compared to the demographics and financial resources of Canadians who CHOOSE to have their advisor compensated by commission?
    This issue is, most importantly, not about my business model, but it is about what is best for the consumer. Nevertheless, by way of disclosure, all my new clients are given the choice. We are working through our database to make the offer to existing clients. So far the CHOICE has been heavily weighted to commissions.
    If change is needed, by all means we should change but to mimic change from other jurisdictions, that created significant disruption and from most reports loss of access to advice,
    let's be sure to justify the change with a clear unbiased examination of the facts.
  • Will Ashworth | 04 Feb 2015, 03:15 PM Agree 0
    Great comments, Harley. You do a good job keeping us honest.
  • Kathy Waite Your Net Worth Manager | 05 Feb 2015, 12:28 PM Agree 0
    Hello Harley , you say : So far the CHOICE has been heavily weighted to commissions.

    Out of interest could you share with us why do you think clients are choosing commission over a fee? is there a pattern, smaller clients choose commission as the fee would be a large % to them ( inability to cut a cheque ) and large accounts chose fee as it a fixed amount and doesn't increase as their account increases? As mentioned before I am just in favour of choice and transparency so Kudos to you offering people a choice and joining the conversation. 95% of the population spends more time shopping for a car than reviewing their investments
  • Debbie Hartzman.CFP.CLU.CDFA.TEP | 07 Feb 2015, 02:54 PM Agree 0
    I totally agree with Harley. I run a fee based advisory practice for my Financial Divorce Practice and a commission based (option) for my financial planning practice. The one observation I have made in dealing with fee based advisors -ie.Lawyers/accountants is that they do not do anything for the client without the clock ticking and will not help a client by recommending advice to other professionals. This does not always translate to the best help for the client. Is this how the regulators want us to behave with our clients. I totally agree that transaction based advisors should not be paid for what they don't do, as in a trailer fee, but for those of us who go above and beyond for our clients the trailer fee is what allows us to be there every step of the way.
  • Harley Lockhart CLU CHFC | 10 Feb 2015, 03:29 PM Agree 0
    For the most part, Clients choose the commission route because they don't want to write another cheque, especially since so many younger clients no longer have ANY cheques. Because my clientele are ordinary middle of the road Canadians, the size of the cheque for service fees based on the time committed to them is out of proportion to the size of their investments. I believe these clients need advice at least as much as those with higher net worth if not more.
  • BurlingtonAdvisor | 12 Feb 2015, 01:13 PM Agree 0
    Totally agree with you Harley!

    Please keep speaking out for all of us in the industry. And we all need to belong to either Advocis or IFB to ensure our voices are heard.

    Clients will be the ones to suffer the most if they ban commissions. The regulators have this all wrong - going after commissions is not the problem. And in my opinion, CRM II is only going to confuse clients, not educate them. When you get your receipt at Walmart, does it show the cost Walmart paid for the item and the price you paid for the item? I think this whole thing just gives Regulators something to do - disguised as consumer protection.
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